Thursday, October 24, 2013

Following are the thinkers taken into account in this post.
1)      Plato
2)      Aristotle
3)      Nicclo Machiavelli
4)      Voltaire
5)      Jean Jacque Rousseau
6)      Ram Mohan Roy
7)      Periyar
8)      Vivekanand
9)      Gandhi
10)    Ambedkar

Ø  Was disciple of Socrates(although not confirmed,but they must have met as they were in the same city)
Ø  Influenced by Socrates Idea –
Ø  In dialogue form the thought of Socrates emerges as we don’t have any written text by Socrates.
Ø  Blended Ethics, Political Philosophy, moral psychology, Epistemology and Metaphysics.
Ø  Academy in Athens
Ø  Philosophical System-“Platonism”-quality of goodness is universal.

Ø  Central work “Republic”

v  Deals with Idea of Justice- i.e. Justice is universal Value and the foundation of the best political order.
v  Discussed happiness,virtue, Platonic  love.

v  Three Parts of Soul :
1.      Reason –Desire truth and the good of Individual
2.      Spirit- Preoccpied with honour and competitive behavior.
3.      Appetite- Direct in satiating base tastes and desires.

v  In favour of Philosopher King who would maintain justice and virtue.
v  Felt democracy could lead to demagoguery and anarchy.
Ø  Argued for body of knowledge-possible to heal political problems like factionalism, Corruption of Moral .


Ø  Father of logic and reason.
Ø  Disciple and Contemporary of Plato.
Ø  Defined  fundamental principal of rational view of  existence of man ‘s consciousness.
Ø  His school called Lyceum- his research student known as “Peripatetics”.
Ø  Logic and reasoning –tools for conduct of Scientific Invention.
Ø  His logic= verbal reasoning> lies Syllogism.
Ø  Defined soul =perfect expression or realization of a natural body.
Ø  Ethics is means to find chief end or highest good,  in Greek “eudaimonia”(actually more than happiness).
Ø  Happiness = activity of rational soul in accordance with Virtue.
Ø  Virtue are subset of good qualities that people have –that is not innate and acquire by Practice and lost by disuse.

Niccolo Machiavelli

Ø  Expressed the idea that political realism in essence gets boiled down to the political-ethical principle, that “might is right”.
Ø  Presented the pragmatic point of view that moral imperatives have no place in political arena.
Ø  Cynical about human nature - advocate rise of strong leader who must be cunning and ruthless enough to keep a resistive population in check and maintain political order but such strong leader must rule by establishing a republic in a vibrant and free political culture in which dissent is tolerated.
Ø  Criticized moralistic view of political Power.
Ø  Morality and Polity are two different facets.
Ø  Legimate & illegitimate power can not be judged on the basis of morality.
Ø  “Prince”i.e. ruler, must visualize political power as an end in them.
Ø  Prime concern of ruler should be the acquisition and maintenance of power.
Ø  Maintaining power and retaining order is more important than sticking to the philosophy morality and virtue.
Ø  Advocate fear among people to make them adherent to the law,  Instead of love.

Ø  Advocacy for civil liberties including the freedom of religion and free trade.
Ø  His conception –irreverent towards establishing tradition(that’s why his ideal state was England where he experience much liberty than his native France)
Ø  Crusading against tyranny, bigotry and superstitions.
Ø  Natural science defender
Ø  Embraced Natural religion
Ø  Aim of life is not to reach heaven through penitence, but to achieve happiness & fulfillment through progress in the fields of Science & Arts.

Ø  He marked  end of the age of reasons.
Ø  Progression in Science and arts causes corruption of virtue and morality  + also created jealousy,fear and suspicion.
Ø  Material progress made govt more powerful which crushed individual liberty + make it difficult for individual to forge sincere friendship.
Ø  Ridiculed Private Property
Ø  Social Contract Theory -Legitimate govt. is the one which is the result of contract between men..... if any govt. does not have this contract then it has no right to rule.
Ø  As musician philosopher, placed melody above the harmony.
Ø  Point out that human beings in the state of nature, are  amoral creature ,neither virtuous nor vicious ,and one society get formed vices began to develop
Ø  Man is born free but everywhere he is in chain- favors  liberty for human being.
Ø  Liberty can be fostered only through a system of obedience to a self imposed law.
Ø  Defined society as an artificial person united by a general will.

Rammohan Roy:

Ø  His favorite maxim “true way of serving god was to do good to man.”
Ø  To abridge  the  gap between percept (The British liberal ideology) and Practices followed  in India, -Pro Active Response to change.
Ø  Attempt to locate the right and socially useful source of knowledge
Ø  Critique of  Mughal Polity, and in favor of the providential nature of British Rule.
Ø  Modernization of India not only by material development but also intellectual - tried to transform medieval literati to modern intelligentsia.
Ø  For him reform  is struggle between liberty and tyranny, justice and injustice and between right and wrong throughout the world.
Ø  Made distinction between law and morality-strived for codification of law,(but also maintained that person having high social standard should be treated differently )
Ø  Was a modern man- tradition to him not rigid but flexible enough to be reinterpreted and revalidated in the light of new experiences.

Periyar(Erode Venkatanaicker Ramasamy):

Ø  Firebrand leader of anti-Brahminism movement in Madras Presidency.
Ø  Mounted heavy attack on Brahminism.... not on Brahmin.
Ø  Message of egalitarians and scientific temper.
Ø  Humanism is Supreme , said “forget God, think man”.
Ø  His movement ended Brahmin  hegemony.
Ø  1924- Vaikkom Satyagrah  inKerala.
Ø  Founded his non politicaloffshoot  DravidarKazhagam (Parent organization of:)

*      DMK
*      AIDMK
*      MDMK

Ø  Launched self respect movement to change what appears to be adverse to man feeling of  respect -Chengalpattu in Feb 1929.
Ø  Propagation of nationhood combined with civilization mission of self-redemption of the human.
Ø  Relied on the faculty of reason possessed by everyone.
Ø  His battle was to fought within the minds of the individuals and their collective consciousness, to let them free from their subjugative or second class mind.
Ø  He wanted from people redemptive of their humanity.
Ø  Rejected trio of God, religious scripture (as they sanction casteism),and God in totality.
Ø  Man obstruction from enquiry & rationality lead to chaos  & deterioration.
Ø  Asked people not to accept anything with ratiocination.


Ø  Forerunner in political arrival of dalit citizens.
Ø  Cause bahujan-dalit identity formation- radical assertion of dalit
Ø  Advocated free social order –recognizing  individual as end in itself-by association between individual s in society founded on liberty equality and fraternity
Ø  Most importantly focused on Political rights- that can lead to social and Economic rights.
Ø  Equitable and just distribution of political power as means of social development- balanced  through political reservation for different section of people
Ø  For Indian democracy to flourish laid three condition

A. hold fast to constitutional method  of achieving our social & economic objective.
B. nation is greater than hero,So Bhakti and hero-worship  is a sure road to degradation and eventual dicatatrship,reject heroism
C. Make political democracy as road to social democracy

Vivekanada :

Ø  Adopted the revivalist approach to traditional Hinduism.
Ø  Propagated spiritual awakening-which restore self belief in man and made him aware of his potentiality, gave the call “back to Veda”,for the Hindus.
Ø  For him spiritual awakening was never removed completely from the social
Ø  The edification of the soul and self are two dimension but of the same human revolution.
Ø  He interpreted tradition afresh with new new social and historical requirement.
Ø  Attacked on the traditional Hinduism.
Ø  Knowledge (both secular + spiritual) needed + the emphatic understanding of others,Which broadens the social base of nationalism.
Ø  Want to strengthen the manhood of his countrymen, was strictly against the mendicancy of Congress + the general unpreparedness of his countrymen for an effective political revolution.
Ø  Favor constructive borrowing from western ideals and bred it with  our spiritual awakening.
Ø  He has said to have given the individual identity to his fellow countrymen.
Ø  Given new impulses to old message


Ø  Given the concept of "Swaraj and Ramrajya (an ideal imagined village)”.
Ø  In this village, mode of conduct point out men on the path of their duty, control of desires and the path of mastery over mind & Passion.
Ø  Knowledge of self & living within bounds.
Ø  Favors in village democracy in which power moves from base to the top, rather than from the top to bottom.
Ø  His devised “Satyagraha which is different from the passive resistance.
Ø  It means truth + insistence, postulate the conquest of adversary by self suffering.

Ø  A satyagrahi pre supposed
*      Self discipline
*      Self purification
*      Recognized social status of satyagrah
*      Should know the distinction between evil and evil doer Free from addiction


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